The smart way to overhaul your wardrobe on a budget

Overhaul your wardrobe on a budget and get a new look for summer.

Close up of woman trying on dress in store

Want a new look for summer but can’t justify buying a whole new wardrobe? We’d all like to be able to adapt our look with each new season, but is there a way to this that’s both cost-efficient and doesn’t involve excessive buying? With this guide, we teach you the smart way to overhaul your wardrobe on a budget.

Step 1: Purge

First things first, there’s no point accumulating items for a ‘new look’ if you don’t intend to throw out items from your ‘old look’. Go through your cupboard and drawers and discard anything with holes, that’s stretched or which you haven’t worn for a year. Donate any pieces that are still in good condition, or you can try selling them for a few extra dollars in a garage sale or online on eBay or Gumtree.

Step 2: Make a list

What new items do you need? What do you want? Make a list of essentials (such as fresh singlets, t-shirts, underwear) and desirables (such as jeans, summery tops and shoes). If you can’t afford a new wardrobe every season (who among us really can?), your aim should be to purchase items that are cross-seasonal and versatile. Think plain shirts, basic coloured denim and classic leather shoes. While it can be nice to add a touch of the latest fashion to your look, don’t let the trends override your own sense of style. Have fun with fashion but be sure to buy items that you‘ll want to wear again and again. This way, each season you can simply top up your collection with a few new, fun pieces.

Step 3: Go shopping (the fun part)

Now for the part for which you’ve been waiting. Right now is a great time to overhaul your wardrobe because its sales time. Even in the winter sales you can find great pieces for summer. In addition to mall, strip shopping and outlet stores, try shopping online to nab some great deals. You can find affordable, trendy and versatile pieces on websites such as Petal Back Clothing, Freez and ASOS. Deal websites such as Catch of the Day often have discounts on designer handbags and branded clothing.

If buying clothing new isn’t your bag, op-shops and markets are a great way to go. You can often find new or close to new pieces for a fraction of their retail cost. Alternatively, hold a clothes-swap party for your friends; sharing is caring, after all.



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    13th Oct 2016
    Sometimes you can find brand new clothing at op shops. Sometimes people buy clothes but never wear them. They may even still have the original retail store price tag in/on them. Or they may have only been worn once or twice and the person decided they didn't like them so they look brand new. Near where I used to live there was 2 different charity shops in the same shopping centre. Vinnies and Red Cross. Both had clothes that were definitely new. If you are looking for clothes or other items for children, grandchildren etc. you could find all sorts of bargains - not just clothes either. One had some really interesting books that appeared to be brand new. Some Churches occasionally have "Garage" Sales (one in Adelaide has one every month) that sometimes have brand new clothes for a fraction of the new price. I got some 100% cotton blouses for a elderly lady with extremely sensitive skin - brand new for $5.00 each..
    13th Oct 2016
    Have a list but check catalogues you may find what you like at prices with reasonable % off. Depending on what you need we find Best & Less clothing is well made and very reasonable prices. There is a lot of styles suitable for 40s upwards, not just younger people.
    About the only thing I haven't bought there is shoes - they didn't have my size - not all of their stores have them.

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